Legal Hotline

JUSTICE CAN BE BLIND

The Legal Hotline is a service of the Iowa Newspaper Association. It provides participants with competent, prompt, low-cost legal advice.

The Hotline has been in operation since 1986 and thousands of questions have been answered by the attorneys. INA members find the Hotline to be a cost-effective method of obtaining prompt and practical legal advice on a variety of issues.

The Hotline is under direct sponsorship and control of the INA. INA collect the fees, promotes the service, decides who the attorneys should be and coordinates operation of the Hotline with the attorneys.

Individual INA member newspapers may join the Legal Hotline at any time by calling the Hotline attorneys with your questions at (515) 283-3100. You may also call the INA office at (515) 244-2145. You are not required to call INA first.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if we already retain an attorney?

Hotline attorneys are available to participants’ local attorneys and will provide specific legal advice on media law issues. The same service is available to your attorney if your newspaper is part of a chain or group with a local or out-of-state general counsel.

Why would we need to use the hotline?

Your newspaper needs the Legal Hotline if you or anyone on your staff has ever had a question about legal issues. A few examples are:

  • open records
  • libel
  • public notice
  • postal regulations
  • employment matters

What happens when we call a hotline attorney?

Hotline attorneys will promptly respond to your call or email.  A Hotline attorney will review any articles, letters, ads or other documents involved in your issue and will discuss the exact nature of your legal question or concern. The attorney will conduct any necessary research and will provide you with an explanation of the law on your issue, outlining your options for proceeding. When a brief consultation with a Hotline attorney is not adequate, the participant has the option to retain the Hotline attorney for direct representation. The Hotline attorney will provide a detailed outline of probable costs of each representation. If direct representation is required, the attorney will bill the participant directly for the additional services provided.

Who can ask questions?

Any employee of a participating newspaper may contact the Hotline attorneys. It is up to the newspaper to decide which employees will be authorized to contact the attorneys. There is no limit to the number of consultations per year.

Can we afford to use the Hotline?

One call may repay your Legal Hotline fee for the entire year! Each newspaper pays an annual fee, based on the newspaper’s circulation, to participate in the Hotline. Monthly fees start at around $23 per month. Discounts are available for groups and chains.

RATES BY CIRCULATION

DAILY PAPERS

0-5,000 - $575

5,001-10,500 - $975

10,501-20,000 - $1,500

20,001 and up - $2,000

WEEKLY PAPERS

0-2,000 - $275

2,001-4,000 - $415

4,000 and up - $575

DISCOUNTS

2nd Newspaper - 20%

3rd Newspaper - 30%